“Tieton From Hatton Road Looking Northeast”

Margaret (Adams) Clayton

Her best friends called her Margie; she was with us a total of twelve school years and hardly waited to catch her breath to leave in 1957. Born August 16, 1939 in Lebanon, Oregon her parents brought her and the rest of the family to Tieton in about 1942, at the heart of the Second World War. They took up residence near the Veteran of Foreign Wars Hall not far from where the city of Tieton had its beginning in 1909. Her parents were seeking a dryer climate for health reasons and looking for work. 

Her best friends in school were Ruth Jacobs, Jackie Habedank, Linda Kay McBay, Roger Ellis, Marie Orser and Buddy Hanson. She was a good friend of Elsie (Borland) Higginbotham and Elsie was one of the very few from the class that ever saw Margie after 1957. She never attended a class reunion and seldom returned to the state. Once saying, “I never left anything up there, but my brothers.” She felt no need to return to revisit the work and hardships of her youth, but she said once, “I would like to have seen Carol Ann (Cox) Roys; she was such a nice person.” 

Margaret was a five foot six inch, brown haired woman with captivating big blue eyes that Jerry Clayton could not resist. She had a quiet, shy public demeanor that makes most women a bit of a mystery and such a puzzle for men. Jerry Clayton must have seen all of that when he and Margaret were married in October, 1957 soon after she graduated. At least he spent the rest of his life, more than forty-seven years, solving the puzzle. 

Margaret never wanted more than to be a good mother and wife, probably the most important of all human endeavors. It was the one thing, she knew she would be good at and she wasted no time getting started. She and Jerry settle early on in Leslie, Arkansas where she worked in retail in the nearby town of Clinton and Jerry worked mostly as a mechanic. They loved their life together; they bought some land, raised some cattle and had a garden. Of course, Margaret stayed active in the local Baptist Church and participated in various local clubs, and in some, she served as an officer.

Margaret shown in the photo to the left at age fifty-nine, like so many of the class of 1957, loved the slower, quieter, simple things in life and made sure she selected such things to make her happy. She loved working with flowers in her garden, canning and freezing vegetables she grew. She loved to quilt, visit with neighbors and help out in the community. She would, truly, have been a person for any age and a friend to all decent people she had the courage to talk too. 

Margaret died of cancer in January 2005, leaving Clayton, her daughter Ruth and an untold number of friends. In learning of her passing, long time neighbor and friend Betty (Griffith) Jaeger would write, “I got to see and chat with Margie… We recalled the gooseberry bushes that grew close to her house. I loved to eat those berries as a kid and so did Margie. My gosh, I feel sad by the news of her death.” We all wish she were with us now to share memories of our youth. It appears certain that Margie’s life became the one she dreamed of when she first became our friend. If each of us can count happiness as a by-product of living as Margaret did we will in deed have spent our years well.

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